May 5, 2014, 2:05 PM

Staples will buy on-demand printer PNI Digital Media

The office supplies retail chain pays $67.3 million for the Vancouver-based company that counts among its customers Staples’ competitor Office Depot.

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Staples Inc. announced today it has bought PNI Digital Media Inc., a Vancouver-based provider of on-demand printing services. Staples will pay CDN $73.9 million (US $67.3 million) for the company, or CDN $1.70 (US $1.55) per share.

Staples, No. 3 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide, says PNI will operate independently from the office supply retailer. Retailers at more than 30,000 stores use PNI’s platform to sell to customers personalized products, including photo prints, photo books, calendars, business cards and invitations. PNI also offers an online photo center service so customers can order photos online and pick up in store. Customers include Staples competitor Office Depot Inc., No. 9 in the guide; Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 4; Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 14; Walgreen Co., No. 43; and CVS Caremark Corp., No. 103.

"PNI's technology gives customers easy access to the best personalized products and related services," says Damien Leigh, senior vice president of Staples Business Services. "As a part of Staples, we expect PNI to continue to innovate on an open platform and share their innovations with both their current customers and with Staples' Business Services division."

PNI shareholders need to approve the acquisition; a meeting is expected in July. The sale also needs the approval of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

PNI has reported increasing sales in recent quarters. In the first quarter of fiscal 2014, ended Dec. 31, 2013, PNI reported sales of CDN $8.2 million (US $7.5 million), a 24% increase in sales over the first quarter 2013. PNI also completed in that quarter the initial rollout of its services in Office Depot stores. The rollout was expected to take 12 months to reach Office Depot’s 1,500 stores.

 

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